Guidance For Arts Boards Confronting a Pandemic

During these unprecedented times, Toronto Arts Foundation is committed to supporting arts boards with the most up-to-date information and resources to help them navigate challenging decisions they may face.

Below you'll find past recordings and resources related to our Confronting a Pandemic series. For other webinar recordings, click here.

Session 1: 10 Principles for Navigating Through Critical Times
April 16, 2020
Arts organizations throughout the world are suddenly facing urgent and unprecedented challenges. What’s the best way for arts boards to assist as their organizations abruptly pivot from standard practice and programming? How does the board’s role change in a time of crisis? Senior arts leaders and experienced board members Robin Cardozo and Helen Burstyn offer 10 Principles for Navigating through Critical Times – the first in our series of three Creative Champions webinars providing Guidance for Arts Boards Confronting a Pandemic. We really are all in this together!


Click above to view the full webinar on YouTube
Session 2: Surviving Extraordinary TImes: The Board's Role in Organizational Resilience
May 1, 2020
COVID-19 has hit our sector hard: arts organizations have had to cancel shows, events and seasons; artists’ income and livelihoods, always precarious, are now even more so. Yet many of our companies are drawing on deep reserves of resiliency: our stages may be dark, our exhibitions postponed, and our venues closed, but most of us are open and operating – often in radically new ways. Although few companies found themselves “ready” to deal with a pandemic, speakers Paul Nagpal and Owais Lightwala (Board Co-Chair and Managing Director Why Not Theatre) and Celia Smith (Co-founder Leadership Emergency Arts Network and incoming Interim CEO Luminato Festival) will explore the board’s important role in developing resilient organizations. What should board members be doing now to help their companies think clearly, act quickly, and innovate in ways that demonstrate strength and flexibility? How can they reinforce, or develop, practices and principles that take them through the current crisis and successfully into the future?
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Session 3: Fundraising and Funding in the Time of COVID-19
June 22, 2020
How are boards fulfilling their fundraising role in the midst of a pandemic? If you’re wondering what has changed, what remains the same, and what outreach and type of appeal seem to be resonating most strongly, Brett Egan, who had a distinguished career leading major arts organizations in New York City and Santa Fe, will share his many experiences in providing planning and training to arts and culture organizations in the United States, Canada and around the world. Sandy Houston, CEO of the Metcalf Foundation, joins the discussion with his observations, from a funder’s perspective, on the type of transitions and funding decisions being made during the pandemic, and how Canadian foundations and philanthropists are responding to the crisis.
Click above to view the full webinar on YouTube
Session 4: Creating Truly Decent Work – in Times of Crisis and Beyond
September 29, 2020
Explore how the best boards have been responding, both before and during COVID, to the increasing urgency of ensuring that their organizations are supportive and equitable workplaces. What is the board’s role and responsibility in creating truly decent workplaces that meet today’s expectations and values? Explore how the definition and challenges of decent work have changed in the past six months, and how arts organizations are adjusting their human resources policies and practices in light of the transition to delayed openings and working from home. Presenters Lucy White, Nadia Bello and Lisa Marie DiLiberto imagine new ways to balance the financial needs of our organizations with the need to sustain the livelihoods of our most important resources: artists and arts-workers.